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Sclerotherapy Injections – Treatment for Spider Veins

SchlerotherapyAn injection treatment used to eliminate spider veins and small to medium size varicose veins. A mild chemical solution is injected into the affected vein, with a very fine small needle. The inner wall of the vein becomes irritated which causes the vein to collapse.

The vein walls stick together and are ultimately absorbed by the body therefore eliminating the problem vein. No pretreatment patient preparation is needed. Following the injections the patient will be instructed to wear a compression stocking for the next 7-10 days post-procedure. Normal activities can be resumed immediately.

Topical Laser Treatment
During laser treatment, the laser is applied to the skin over your spider veins. Laser energy causes your spider veins to coagulate and shrink. Laser therapy is most effective for small and medium size spider veins. Large spider veins respond poorly and are best treated with sclerotherapy.

Treatments are associated with mild discomfort, not unlike a small rubber band snapping against skin. Treatments usually do not require sedatives, pain medications, or injections of local anesthetic. Immediately following treatment, spider veins will be darker and more visible. Over two to six weeks, your spider veins usually fade. After each treatment, you will see a 70% to 80% improvement in the appearance of face spider veins and 30-40% improvement in leg spider veins.

An average of three treatments will be required at three-month intervals. Combination therapy if you have small, medium, and large spider veins, you may benefit from both sclerotherapy and laser therapy. You may wish to start with sclerotherapy, because sometimes all veins will be improved after injecting the larger ones. This may reduce the number of veins that need to be treated by laser, and minimize your overall cost.

Perforating Vein Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy
Another source of venous reflux into varicose veins is through perforating veins. These veins are channels between the deep venous system and superficial venous system, seen primarily in the calf of the lower leg. These perforating veins can be closed with a technique called ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy.

Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
Using a small needle, a mild chemical solution that causes the vein to close is agitated and then injected into the perforating vein using real-time ultrasound as guidance. This treatment causes minimal discomfort during injection. The procedure takes only a few minutes. A compression stocking is then applied after the treatment.

What is the treatment like and how long does it take?
After your evaluation, a treatment plan will be suggested. We will discuss with you the estimated number of treatments. This depends upon the type and extent of the varicose or spider veins to be treated. It is important to remember that the number of sessions can be only estimated, since every person responds differently to sclerotherapy. A treatment session is about 30 minutes. A very fine needle is used to inject the veins with a small quantity of a chemical solution which involves multiple injections sites.

Is the Procedure Painful?
In general, the only discomfort associated with the procedure is caused by the tiny needle sticks. The injected solution might cause a slight itching sensation. Any discomfort is will be relieved by wearing the compression stocking.

When can I expect to see results?
Although some people see results almost immediately, it can take weeks for the veins to resolve completely. With spider vein treatments, the veins often will turn red, and bruising may occur at the injection site. This initial reaction usually goes away within seven days and then the veins slowly disappear over the next two to four weeks. When larger veins are treated by injection, it is normal to see some discoloration and bruising at the injection site and along the vein redness and slight soreness are also common, but not worrisome.

How successful is sclerotherapy?
After 2 to 3 treatments, most patients can expect 50% to 90% improvement. However, fading is gradual and disappearance of spider veins is usually achieved after 6 to 12 weeks.

Who should not be treated?
Patients should wait at least three months after pregnancy or major surgery before being treated for vein disease. Persons with deep vein thrombosis or incompetence, and patients who cannot ambulate for other reasons are NOT good candidates for treatment. Veins that have been treated with sclerotherapy should not be exposed to sun for 3 weeks after injections.